Trust Information

Meet our Education Team

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Simon Taylor
CEO of the Three Rivers Learning Trust & Trustee

I am privileged to lead the Three Rivers Learning Trust, through a period of growth and development, since its formation in 2011. I have worked in education since 1985, initially as a history teacher, and then in senior leadership positions across three very different secondary schools. In 2007 I was appointed Headteacher at The King Edward VI School, Morpeth, one of the founding schools of the trust, and became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in September 2018. As a National Leader of Education (NLE) I also work with a number of schools across the region, to support school improvement.

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Clare Savage
Headteacher at The King Edward VI School

I have been at the King Edward's for the past 19 years, firstly as a Year Leader, then Assistant Headteacher and Head of the Teaching School, before moving on to be Deputy Headteacher. I was finally appointed Headteacher 3 years ago.

I have also been involved in school governance for much of this time, initially as a teacher governor at King Edward's, and then as a community governor at Abbeyfields First School. This, together with having two children progressing through Trust schools has given me a deep understanding of the school's place both within the Trust and the community it serves.

I want all students to leave our school fully equipped to meet the challenges they may face in the future, and with a sense of service to their communities. It is an absolute honour to lead this school and I am proud of the education and support we offer to all within our care.

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Nikki Buckley
Headteacher at Harbottle CofE First School

I have been teaching for over 20 years, having started as a middle school French teacher. I have worked in a range of schools throughout Northumberland and even had the chance to tutor in Sydney for 2 years, which helped me experience education in a different country. Now, I am the teaching head at Harbottle CofE First School, where I enjoy helping every child to flourish, with my fantastic team

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Glen Whitehead
Headteacher at Stobhillgate First School

Over the last 15 years, I have had the privilege of working in a wide range of schools within Northumberland and North Tyneside. After starting my career in Bedlington, I then worked as a Deputy Head Teacher of a large school in North Tyneside. Within this role, I led teaching and learning whilst also working as a Specialist Leader of Education, which gave me the opportunity to support a number of schools throughout the North East.

In 2018 I became Head Teacher of Stobhillgate. Over the last 4 years, we have been on a rapid journey of improvement, constantly striving to ensure that our young people are receiving the best quality of education that inspires, challenges and enables them to achieve their potential.

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Elizabeth Kinninment
Headteacher at Newminster Middle School

I have worked in education for over 25 years and have been Head of School, and subsequently Headteacher, at Newminster Middle School since September 2014. My career started as a Geography teacher in a secondary school in North Tyneside, before moving to a Northumberland High School, as Head of Geography in 1999. I spent 15 happy years there, progressing to Assistant Headteacher, before moving into my current role. My career has therefore involved me working with young people from the ages of 9 - 19, supporting them in making those early steps in their education to writing university and job applications as they get ready to embark on their adult lives. I thoroughly enjoy working with young people and am proud to do so within The Three Rivers Learning Trust.

Katie Binns
Acting Headteacher at Chantry Middle School

Having originally moved to the North East for University in 1996, it felt only natural to return here to take up my first teaching post following my time spent working in France. I have spent the last 20 years in secondary education, beginning my career in 2002 in North Tyneside as a French and German teacher before moving onto the role of Head of German within Northumberland in 2005. My most recent roles prior to joining Chantry were at a large secondary school in Gateshead as Faculty Leader for MFL and then as Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for the Quality of Education. I have a passion for ensuring our young people have the very best start in life - both academically and socially. I joined Chantry as Deputy Headteacher in 2021 and I have thoroughly enjoyed my transition to middle school education and seeing our pupils thrive each and every day.

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Sandra Ford
Headteacher at Abbeyfields First School

I have enjoyed a long career in education. I qualified as a teacher in 1988 and spent the next nineteen years teaching children across the primary phase, including at Abbeyfields. In 2007 I was seconded to work for Northumberland Local Authority as a Teaching and Learning Consultant (Mathematics). This gave me the opportunity to gain valuable experience in wider school improvement and the desire to progress into school leadership.

I have been the headteacher at Abbeyfields since 2009 and feel extremely privileged to be in this role. As part of the Three Rivers Learning Trust, we are well supported in every aspect of our provision and we love to work collaboratively for the benefit of our children, parents and staff.

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Liam Murtagh
Headteacher at Dr Thomlinson C of E Middle School & Thropton Village First School

I am Headteacher of Dr Thomlinson CofE Middle School and Thropton Village First School. I have been a teacher since 1993 and have worked in eight different schools, teaching and leading across the primary and secondary age range. I really enjoy my job and feel really privileged to work with children as it is a role where there is always something to learn and always something to make us smile.

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Angela Davies
Trust SEND Lead & Assistant Headteacher/SENDCO at The King Edward VI School

I began my career teaching French in 1998, I enjoyed teaching in a range of schools and working my way up to a Senior Leadership and a SENCo position within Northumberland. Through this I discovered a passion for supporting children and young people with SEND as well as their families.

In 2008 I was appointed to the role of School Improvement Lead - SEND at Northumberland County Council. This allowed me to broaden my skills, knowledge and experience within SEND and education as well as support schools, SENCOs and Senior Leaders across the County. In my current role, I am hoping to combine the two - being back in school at the heart of the work with children and families as well as providing support to the schools within the Trust.

Andy Clark
Trust Safeguarding Lead & Deputy Headteacher at The King Edward VI School

It really is a privilege to work with the young people of Morpeth and the surrounding area. I have been a teacher for nearly 25 years. In this time I have taught in a number of schools in London, Kent and for the last 18 years in the North East of England. I am now in my second spell at The King Edward VI School and am delighted to oversee a hugely talented, caring and professional pastoral staff. Like me, they are determined to do the best we can to support all of our children, so that they can fulfil their academic and personal potential whilst in our care. This will mean that they are well prepared for the wider world when the time comes for them to move on.

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Rebecca Taylor
Teaching School Hub Director

I am currently Teaching School Hub director after King Edward VI School was designated as a centre of excellence in 2021. Within this role I oversee the strategic development and direction of the The Three Rivers Teaching School Hub; coordinating teacher recruitment, development and retention across Nor 3; Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Prior to this role I have worked in senior leadership across King Edward VI School and Chantry Middle School. My passion is teaching and I am committed to education excellence in order to do the very best for every child.

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Sam Connor
Trust ICT Lead

I completed my Fine Art degree at University of Edinburgh and following this started my journey into Education through a PGCE & Masters in Education at University of Cambridge. My first Art teaching position was in Durham and since then I have had various roles in schools including Primary School Engagement Lead, Subject Leader and Lead Learner.

My work at The King Edward VI School has gradually become more whole school and I currently lead on Teaching and Learning and Continuous Professional Learning. I really enjoy supporting staff development and helping fellow teachers review and refine their practice. Teaching School Hub has provided excellent opportunities for sharing best practice across the region and I am involved in the delivery of the reformed National Professional Qualifications as well as supporting the Hub with other external professional development work. I am a firm believer in the power of challenging ourselves to do better and be better - if it doesn't challenge you it won't change you.

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Nicholas Reeson
Headteacher at Morpeth All Saints First School

I began my teaching career in 2010 after qualifying in Primary Education from Northumbria University. Since then I have held several teaching and leadership positions in various school settings equipping me with invaluable skills and opportunities which are vital to my role today.

Before becoming headteacher at Morpeth All Saints, I was deputy headteacher at an outstanding initial teacher training primary school in Gateshead and I led on delivering phonics and early reading training to aspiring teachers. I was also able to lead multiple educational visits to Shanghai for children and continued professional development opportunities for staff with a focus on the Shanghai approach to teaching Mathematics.

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